3 independent reviews for Southern Spain self guided walking tour

Reviews for Southern Spain self guided walking tour

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review 17 Nov 2021

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Every day of walking in the rolling hills of Aracena was beautiful - it's all cork oak and olive groves, pine forests and ancient sweet chestnut plantations, often with vultures and red kites circling overhead and free-range black pigs roaming around, and so many beautiful, sleepy white-washed Andalucian towns and villages with gorgeous balconies and window ledges stuffed with flowerpots, and orange and lemon trees growing. It all felt very rural and peaceful. I also loved the homemade breakfast at Lucy and Angel's guesthouse, your starting and end point! And generally we ate some amazing pork/ham, which the region is famed for in Spain.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

November was a fantastic time to visit - far warmer than the UK, and we pretty much had cloudless skies every day, but it was not too hot for walking. It was great that we had both written directions and a GPS locator gadget to help navigate the walks - we definitely had to make use of both along the route at certain points. Ignore the farm dogs – many farms have a dog whose job it is to bark if people walk by, but that is all they do, and they are always on the other side of a fence. And in rural Andalucia places definitely close during siesta hours or if no one is around, so bear that in mind when timing meals. Do learn one or two Spanish phrases, as there are not that many English speakers. Oh and do stay on for some extra time in Seville if you can, it is a beautiful city!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, Lucy and Angel are absolutely passionate about creating a environmentally friendly guesthouse, offering authentic, sustainably sourced local food etc etc, so that was a massive plus of this vacation for me. (If traveling in non-Covid times we would have taken them up on the discount offered if you get public transport most of the way to their village, for example – but as it was, we very much appreciated the transfers.)

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

This vacation was exactly what we were after - plenty of walking in beautiful, tranquil landscapes (with the odd short, steep bit to push us, but largely quite straightforward!), staying in simple, fairly rustic guesthouses and hotels, with lots of nature around. And it was totally hassle free, as we were picked up at the airport and dropped off in Seville at the end, and our bags were transferred from place to place, and waiting for us when we arrived at each hotel. Overall I thought it was a fantastic walking vacation and would definitely recommend it.

review 3 Nov 2021

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

It’s hard to choose as everything was memorable and amazing! At the top I have to say Lucy and Angel’s warm hospitality made me feel at home. They are exceptional hosts, knowledgeable about the area, provide wonderful home cooking and have created an inviting and extremely comfortable place to rest at the end of a day of walking. Small touches like an honour bar so I could make myself a cup of tea add to the homey feeling. I will also remember fondly the beautiful and diverse landscape of the Sierra de Aracena. The walking paths were serene (I encountered very few other hikers) and the whitewashed villages magical. These heritage protected villages are such a unique destination.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Say yes to anything Lucy and Angel suggest! Dinner suggestions in Alájar, a home cooked meal when Lucy is cooking, a packed picnic lunch, walking tours. I loved it all.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Absolutely. It’s the low environmental impact and local benefits that drew me to choose to this walking tour. Lucy and Angel have designed a low carbon footprint Posada. Some examples: eco friendly shampoo and shower gel sourced locally (and avoids using small disposable bottles), salt water pool, geothermal heating, reused materials throughout the construction, the delicious breakfast uses family recipes and local ingredients. These are only a sample. They have thoughtfully made each decision about their Posada to limit environmental impacts and benefit local communities. In addition, the paths you walk are in the beautiful nature park Sierra de Aracena.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Excellent! It was an fantastic week. I loved everything about it. I am already dreaming of returning.

review 21 Jun 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Our hosts, Lucy and Angel, were brilliant. Angel picked us up from the airport and the vacation started right there. He is a mine of local information and our journey was punctuated by him picking out the spectacular flora and fauna of the region - buzzards, vultures and other local wildlife. Lucy put together for us a 50-mile walking itinerary for the next six days which started with Angel leading us on a personal 2-hour hike to see the local landmarks. The schedule then saw us moving from Alajar to Aracena for two nights then on to Galaroza for two nights ending with us trekking back to Alajar for the final night (they moved our bags from hotel to hotel). The longest hike was just over 10 miles but each of the walks varied in both Vista and duration and were classed as either 'easy' or 'moderate'. I'm in my sixties and not that fit but managed each of the ascents and descents OK. All the walks took in the very varied landscape of the Sierra de Aracena and Lucy’s route made sure a coffee/beer stop could be included along the way. For those with smart phones, Lucy’s excellent trail notes were supplemented by a Wikilocs app that nagged at you if you came off the trail – very handy and no chance of getting lost.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

The hotels we stopped at along the way were better than we expected; each with a large double bed and en-suite facilities (the one in Galaroza also had a pool!!). We had food provided by Lucy on our first and last nights (truly exceptional local cuisine with freshly picked herbs, salad and vegetables from their garden) and a meal at the Galaroza hotel. If you want to explore the best of local Andalusia and the Sierra de Aracena, there can be no better place than this one in Alajar and no better hosts than Lucy and Angel – we will be back!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

We had a fabulous vacation. It is in one of the most picturesque locations you will find in Andalusia and certainly lived up to their ecological credentials - a perfect mix of comfort and low environmental impact - their pool was very much welcomed

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

A fantastic experience enhanced by charming and knowledgeable hosts.

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